i’ll just come right out and say it: i’m taking a break from social media. yep, you read that right. i’m deleting instagram, twitter, and facebook from my phone and locking myself out of them. for a whole month. no more posting, no more tweeting, no more likes.
now i know what you’re thinking: ashley, you’re insane. you’re a marketing major. your entire life revolves around your interactions with others. not only that, you’re a sorority girl. there are expectations. and here’s what i have to say to that: says who? who is honestly going to be affected by my internet absence apart from myself? i’m not alienating myself from my friends. in fact, i plan to use this time off to get more facetime. no, not like video calls, like good old-fashioned, one-on-one time with the people i’ve neglected in favor of my phone. lack of quality time is one of the reasons for this purge, but if i’m being honest the main reason is my own mental and emotional health.
okay, guys, time to get real and raw. i have an addiction. i don’t mean that as a joke, i mean i have a physical addiction that i need my own form of rehab for. i’m addicted to the comments and the comparing. i thrive on the heart eye emojis and the likes and that one picture that i know i look bomb in. but it’s never enough. there will always be someone with more likes, more comments, more emojis. there will always be someone in my feed or on the explore tab who is thinner, prettier, cooler, or doing something more fun than what i’m doing. i’ve never thought of myself as a jealous person but no matter how hard i try, i feel the ugly green monster rear its head every time i open an app.
then why do i keep doing it? why is social media the first thing i check when i wake up and the last thing i check before i go to sleep, even though it leaves me feeling empty and broken every. single. time. for a while there, i kept telling myself that it was to reach some kind of goal that i had made up for myself. “i’ll just keep posting until i get 50 likes.” then 50 became 100, and then 100 became 150. and so on until nothing would ever be enough. the satisfaction that came with reaching that goal was always quickly overwhelmed by the feelings of inadequacy and the desire to reach a new one.
so last week i said ” no more.” i went into the instagram app with the sole intent of hitting the delete button. but then i saw a notification. a new like. and my well-laid plans vanished. but even as my most recent post hit the most likes i’ve ever received, the hole in my chest only grew larger. it’s still not enough. and i’ve spent far too much time feeling “not enough.” and i’m well and truly tired of it.
the cycle ends now. today. the month of june will be a purge month for me, and if after this month i feel like i can get back on without continuing the addiction, like i can use social media as a way to connect rather than compare, then maybe i’ll re-download it. but until then i will use my time as it should be used. instead of waking up and checking my phone, i’ll wake up and check my Bible. instead of draining myself every single day and carrying this shame and guilt around like a weight, i’ll fill myself back up with what is good and true and let the blood of Jesus wash it all clean.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” -Romans 12:2